17 Oct 2006

Fiji's largest commerical bank faces could face industrial action by some staff

11:52 am on 17 October 2006

Fiji' largest commercial Bank, the ANZ Group could be facing strike action at the end this month following a vote by its unionized employees.

The Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union says ANZ's move to restructure its Pacific operations will see the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The union general secretary, Pramod Rae has told the Daily Post the ANZ is bulldozing its restructure through with full support from the Fiji government.

The ANZ will be transferring a wide range of its back office operations to its own subsidiary, Quest Limited, which is located at the Kalabo Tax Free Zone near Suva, in a move labeled by critics as "tax avoidance."

Mr Rae says hundreds of union members will lose their jobs if their work is transferred to a smaller unit of "young and lower paid workers employed by Quest."

He says all relevant agencies of the government have remained silent on why they have allowed the ANZ to relocate to the tax free zone and why employees have to reapply for their own jobs at Quest.